Living with an aspergers child is a daily struggle. Its not always easy to explain. Behavior is judged by others as being naughty. When Ethan was younger he would have meltdowns in public, at gatherings or parties. I did not always know the best way to deal with the situation. Often I would try encourage him to explain in words rather than emotions as to what his struggles were. Other times I’d let him ride it out till he became calm again.
He is very intense. He doesn’t stop talking and his brain is full of thoughts and ideas that he has to get out. I’d often remind him that he is a new computer program and I am an old computer. I cannot process all the information he is downloading!
He is high functioning so people don’t believe me that he is aspergers or understand what it is. He can get on with people of all ages. I think he sometimes annoys the adults as he is 14 now and likes to include himself in their conversations. He has to be in control of his environment, if he is not, if someone is doing something he doesn’t like ,its a problem and he tends to get worked up over it. I have tried giving him life skills though the word of God to remind him of social behavior. Such us loving our enemies or not thinking of ourselves higher than we ought.
What do I mean by meltdowns?
Meltdowns happen when he feels he doesn’t have control in a situation. Its not a tantrum, which is to manipulate the parent. A tantrum is an action. A meltdown is a reaction. See the difference? It looks like sulky behaviour,or an outburst of anger. Once he broke a chair in such an outburst (thankfully for me that was just once and we dealt with it straight away). It can last a few minutes or can be the whole day! Depending on what it is. Reasons for a meltdown may vary. If they have their routine broken(sometimes this is life and can’t be helped) , their control(OCD) issues or just for no apparent reason at all.
For various reasons,he does not fit into the mould of mainstream school and I have had the privilege of homeschooling him. Its not been an easy road but its been the best thing for him! He has confidence and a good character. I have been able to provide a loving nurturing environment for him to grow up in. He didn’t have the unhealthy socialisation of school to deal with but rather a healthy more natural form of socializing in the real world around him. At homeschool events, at the shops,at church, with older adults to small babies. All where he had to practice skills he was taught that don’t come easy to him. Such as looking at someone in the eye when speaking to them .
He is an amazing boy, very loving and caring. He has a sensitive heart for the poor and needy. But its this sensitivity that also hurts him. He picks up everything. But at the same time he is egocentric and cannot really see things from another’s point of view and its not his fault,he just cannot do it.
Aspergers children often have obsessions and he has had a few over the years but the biggest one has been cooking! He loves to cook,he loves food and he loves eating. This has been a wonderful outlet for him. When he is focused on that he blocks out the rest of the world( or tries to) we are not allowed in the kitchen when he is cooking unless specifically asked to help with something. He has recently been added to a cooking team at church which has helped him so much to learn how to work with others. Lucky for me,they understand him and are very patient with him.
Its a daily struggle as a parent but I have the lord Jesus guiding me. When I don’t know what to do,He does. He has led me day by day and help Ethan to grow into a wonderful young man inspite of his issues. Ethan and I have our ups and downs but we have a special bond and love each other through the difficulties.